Sustainable development | Palais des congrès de Montréal

Sustainable developmentThe Palais: Environmentally responsible out of conviction

At the Palais, sustainable development goes beyond the environment; it seeks to meet the needs of our visitors while respecting as much as possible the needs of generations to come.

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Our commitment

Though guided by government policies and action plans, the Palais was motivated by personal convictions to officially commit to sustainable development. Working together with Montréal, an essential partner and leader in promoting sustainable events, the Palais takes pride in always going the extra mile to make a difference.


Our key initiatives

In addition to our daily efforts to minimize our environmental footprint, we are one of the first convention centres in the Americas to have a carbon-neutral building. To achieve this, we offset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the building’s energy use by contributing to the management and planting of trees on four hectares of Université Laval’s Montmorency Forest, the largest university teaching and research forest in the world.

To reduce the environmental impact of our business development activities, we offset GHG emissions from travel by our representatives through the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi’s Carbone boréal program. This tree-planting offset program, whose rigorous methodology is third-party verified, is the only one entirely dedicated to university research.

This forward-thinking initiative led by AU/LAB, a laboratory for research, innovation, and intervention in urban agriculture associated with the Institut des sciences de l’environnement of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), is the main showcase for experimentation and promotion of urban agriculture technologies and techniques in Québec.

The Urban Agriculture Lab has four main components:

  • Culti-VERT: Experimentation on extensive green roofs and container gardening
  • Two pollinating beehives that can house up to 50,000 bees 
  • VERTical: Vertical urban agriculture on a scaffold structure — a first in North America
  • Urban vines: Canada’s first urban rooftop vineyard and the world’s first in a northern environment

In collaboration with Planetair, a recognized leader in climate change awareness and GHG offsets, we have put in place an innovative carbon offset program for event organizers and participants

Discover the tools for organizers

Organizers get to avail themselves of a five-step program facilitating the planning of a carbon-neutral event, which comes with Planetair shepherding them every step of the way.

Discover the tools for visitors

As for participants, simple, effective tools empower them to quickly offset travel with carbon credits that are Gold-Standard-certified. Gold Standard is the world’s strictest carbon emission reduction standard.


Awards and certifications

Logo BOMA BEST
Logo AIPC
Logo Sustainable Event Standards Bronze

BOMA BEST

National green building certification program

AIPC Gold Quality Standards

Gold-level certification for quality and management performance, awarded by the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC)

ASTM/APEX

Certification awarded by iCompli Sustainability that recognizes Montréal and the Palais as leading destinations for environmentally responsible events


Logo sustainable development goals

The United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development

In 2019, we adopted an international framework of reference by joining the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Through our actions and with support from valuable social and community partners, we are working on the 17 global goals set by the United Nations to maximize the impact of our commitment.

The Palais has also aligned each of the objectives in its 2019–2023 Strategic Plan with the priorities identified by the United Nations.


UN goals: The Palais is taking action

In the community, with our employees, to improve quality of life and protect the environment — we are taking action to achieve goals that make a difference.

no poverty

We are committed to working for the good of the community. 

  • Annual contribution to the Entraide fundraising campaign for those most in need
  • In partnership with Action Médiation, support for cohabitation between tourists and homeless people
zero hunger

We are against food waste and support food distribution.  

  • In partnership with Capital Traiteur, donations of surplus food from events to Maison du Père
  • In partnership with AU/LAB, donations of surplus produce from our rooftop vegetable garden to Maison du Père
good health logo

We care about the health of our colleagues. 

  • Access to fitness rooms and to fitness centres at special rates
  • Free access to BIXI keys for bicycle trips
  • Workplace prevention and safety
  • Annual flu vaccination clinic
  • Professional and personal assistance and support program
  • Flexible schedules for work-life balance
quality education logo

We invest in the education of children and adults alike.

  • Support for the Bourse de carbone Scol’ERE program and its awareness-raising activities in Montréal elementary schools
  • Involvement of students in special projects
  • Ongoing training programs
  • Sustainability awareness and training programs
  • Access to our little libraries, in collaboration with Culture à partager
gender equality logo

Equality, equity, parity: principles incorporated at all our levels.

  • Pay equity program
  • Workplace equity program
  • Board of directors made up of an equal number of women and men (Act respecting the governance of state-owned enterprise, CQLR, c. G-1,02)
  • Broad representation of women on the management board and in senior management
clean water logo

We help reduce plastic consumption and protect water.

  • Installation of smart drinking fountains that count the number of single-use bottles saved 
  • In partnership with Capital Traiteur, drinks sold in plastic containers have been replaced with more eco-friendly alternatives
clean energy logo

We offer maximum comfort while minimizing our environmental footprint. 

  • Access to electric vehicle charging stations near the Palais
  • Installation of charging stations in the indoor parking
  • Prioritization of natural-gas-fired heating equipmen
economic growth logo

We protect individuals’ rights and ensure inclusive representation. 

  • Retirement planning program
  • Accelerated succession planning
  • Pay equity plan
  • Inclusive access to employment program that encourages women, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities, ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities to apply for jobs
  • Safe work environment supported by leading-edge training
industry logo

We offer the best tools to get connected and stay connected.

  • Access to state-of-the-art communication technologies
  • Implementation of a meeting solution to facilitate hybrid events (virtual and in-person)
  • A creation of Palais Média Propulsion, a studio that allows our clients to create content that amplifies their voices
reduced inequalities logo

We open our doors to everyone — no exceptions.

  • Facilities accessible to people with reduced mobility and total-access rated by Kéroul
  • Complimentary wheelchairs and eco-friendly adapted services
  • Compliance with American with Disabilities Act accessibility standards
  • Inclusive access to employment program that encourages women, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities, ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities to apply for jobs
  • Employee awareness days with a focus on community involvement
  • Action plan for people with disabilities in line with sustainable development goals
sustainable cities logo

We are close to the citizens here and are committed to making Montréal a human-scale city.

  • In partnership with Action Médiation, support for cohabitation between tourists and homeless people
  • In partnership with #MEET4IMPACT, an important global study was conducted on the social impact of business events
  • BIXI keys available to employees free of charge for bike travel
  • Broader access to artworks exhibited at the Palais via the Art public Montréal website
  • Annual participation in Art souterrain and promotion of Montréal’s architectural heritage for all
  • Partner of La Vitrine culturelle to promote culture
responsible consumption logo

We reduce, we recover, and we enjoy the benefits of being environmentally responsible.

  • BOMA BEST and APEX/ASTM certification recognizing the Palais and Montréal as an eco-friendly convention destination
  • In partnership with AU/Lab, rooftop farming and use of harvested produce in convention meals
  • Various procurements and renovation initiatives to reduce energy consumption
  • Implementation of an environmentally responsible procurement policy
  • Recovery of obsolete electronic devices
  • Recovery of construction and renovation materials 
  • Donation of surplus food to Maison du Père, composting in the kitchen, and recovery of used cooking vegetables oils
  • Electric vehicle charging stations in the indoor parking and near the Palais
  • Smart drinking fountains that count the number of single-use bottles saved 
  • E-ticket sales
  • Uniforms and promotional items designed by Québec creators
climat action logo

We are industry leaders in reducing our climate impact.

  • BOMA BEST and APEX/ASTM certification that recognizes the Palais and Montréal as an eco-friendly convention destination
  • Carbon-neutral building
  • Offsetting GHG emissions from travel by our representatives
  • Carbon offset programs for our clients and their event participants
  • Monetary donation to Planetair for every customer satisfaction questionnaire completed to purchase carbon credits
  • In partnership with AU/Lab, greening of a significant stretch of the Palais rooftops to combat heat islands
  • Collaboration in the development of Québec’s responsible event management standard in 2012
  • Indoor bike parking and BIXI keys for employees
life below water logo

We encourage sustainable exploitation of marine sources.

  • In partnership with Capital Traiteur, responsible sourcing of seafood products that meets Ocean Wise standards
  • In partnership with Capital Traiteur, drinks sold in plastic containers have been replaced with more eco-friendly alternatives
  • Smart drinking fountains that count the number of single-use bottles saved
life on land logo

We root ourselves in ever more concrete actions.

  • Offsetting of GHG emissions by contributing to the management and planting of trees on four hectares of Université Laval’s Montmorency Forest, the largest university teaching and research forest in the world
  • Installation and running of pollinating beehives to foster biodiversity on our rooftops and in the city
  • Annual participation in the Tuques bleues challenge to support Les Amis de la Montagne’s natural habitat protection programs
peace, justice and strong institutions logo

We care about respect and quality of life for all. 

  • Gender equality and equal access to employment program
  • Workplace harassment and violence policy
  • Continuing education program on the specific needs of people with disabilities
  • Code of ethics and conduct for all levels to ensure transparent management
partnerships for the goals

We work together to take concrete, effective action.

  • Member of Tourisme Montréal’s Environmental Committee
  • Supporter of the City of Montréal’s sustainable development plan
  • Creation of the Sustainability Innovation Committee made up of experts from 10 Québec universities
  • Establishment of an internal committee dedicated to sustainability
  • Partnership with MT Lab, the Quartier de l’innovation, and innovative Montréal companies to develop the convention centre of the future
  • Establishment of the Carrefour de recherche, d’expertise et de transfert en agriculture urbaine (CRETAU) in partnership with the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation, the City of Montréal, and UQÀM 
  • Strategic alliance with the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ), the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), and the Fondation du CHUM to foster research and the holding of major events
  • Creation of the Multisector Strategic Taskforce and the Aerospace Events Taskforce to develop the sectors that are driving Montréal’s growth
  • Establishment of the Montréal Business Destination Taskforce with Tourisme Montréal and the Convention Industry Round Table with the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal (AHGM)